London 2005

“COMPARING COMMONWEALTH LAWS: CHALLENGES FOR LAW TEACHERS”

The 2005 CLEA conference was held between 9-10 September 2005 at the University of Greenwich. It was opened by the university Vice-Chancellor, Baroness Tessa Blackstone.

The Conference was divided into six themes:

(1) Common Law: Diversity in Unity.
This section included papers on “Non-Contractual Liability for Legislative Errors” by Leslie Blake, Tim Sinnamon (both University of Surrey) and John Ponting; “Reform of the Civil Justice System – Implications for the Legal Profession and for Law Teachers” by Bobette Wolski (Bond University) and “Product Liability in the Commonwealth: A Comparative Survey with particular reference to the prospects for legislative reform in South Africa” by M. Loubster (University of Stellenbosch).

(2) Comparative Commonwealth Laws: Civil Law, Roman-Dutch Law and Customary Law.
This section included papers on “Exploring the interfaces between contract law and property law: A UK comparative perspective” by David Cabrelli (University of Dundee); “Property Rights in Customary Law: A Comparative Perspective” by Siva Sivakumar (Hidayatullah National Law University) and “The Multiple Legal System of Sri Lanka: Development, Problems and Challenges” by HJF Silva (Sri Lanka Law College).

(3) Comparative Commonwealth and Human Rights Issues.
This section included papers on “Using reasonableness as a tool for the enforcement of social and economic rights in Commonwealth countries” by Anashri Pillay (University of Cape Town); “The comparative evaluation of disability rights mechanisms: Piloting applied legal clinical education in human rights” by Angela Laycock (University of Greenwich) and “The protection of human rights in Uganda and South Africa: A comparative survey of public awareness and perceptions” by John Mubangizi (University of KwaZulu-Natal).

(4) Family Rights and Human Rights.
This section included papers on “The application of the Hague Convention on the civil aspects of integration of child abduction in South Africa” by Marita Carnelly (University of KwaZulu-Natal-Pietermaritzburg) and “Same sex marriages – An issue for the courts or the legislature?” by Lucy Yeatman (University of Greenwich).

(5) Developing the Teaching of Islamic Law.
This section included papers on “Incorporating Islamic law into Family Law” by Shaheen Ali (University of Warwick); “Developing the teaching of Islamic law at the University of Western Cape” by Nateira Abdulla (University of Western Cape) and “The operation of the Shariah Law of inheritance in a Roman-Dutch legal system informed by constitutional values” by Mohamed Palekar (University of Cape Town).

(6) Legal Education, E-Learning, Legal Services and Law Clinics.
This section included papers on “Comparative sports law” by Elizabeth Toomey (University of Canterbury); “The UTS indigenous law degree: The Sydney experience in diversifying the LLB” by David Barker (University of Technology, Sydney), “E-learning, legal education and ideology: Diversity and identities” by Maureen Spencer (Middlesex University), and “The value of an LLB: Comparative perspectives between New Zealand and England and Wales” by Chris Gallavin (University of Canterbury).

The conference was organised by Selina Goulbourne, the CLEA EC member for Europe.

2005 Moot

In September 2005, the Association organised and ran the 9th Commonwealth Law Moot as part of the Commonwealth Law Conference in London. The competition brought together teams of law students drawn from around the Commonwealth. The following regions were represented: The Caribbean, South Asia (India), South Asia (Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka); East Africa, Southern Africa, North America, Australasia, the South Pacific and South-East Asia. The sole absentee was the team representing West Africa whose members were unable to attend owing to UK visa problems.

As Ros Macdonald, the CLEA Moot Coordinator put is at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Law Conference:

“The Commonwealth Law Moot gives a marvelous opportunity to the most brilliant young legal minds in the Commonwealth to meet with and listen to the most eminent judges and counsel and to appear in front of them during the moot.”

The competition consisted of a preliminary round in which each team mooted twice. The four teams with the highest scores then proceeded into the semi-finals with Canada and the United Kingdom winning through to the final. This was heard by Justice Alan Goldberg (Federal Court of Australia), Chief Justice Pius Langa (South Africa) and Lord Justice Mance (Court of Appeal, England and Wales).

The winners of the moot and the Turnbull Shield for 2005 were the Canadian team from the University of Toronto consisting of Yousuf Aftab, Mark Elton and Amy Salyzyn. The runners-up were Benedict Rodgers and Elizabeth Prochaska from City University.

Yousuf Aftab has also won the prize for the best mooter in the final whilst the prize for the best mooter in the general round went to Suhrith Parthasarathy of the Indian team from the National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata

The CLEA hosted a reception for all participants where all the mooters were presented with certificates and a years’ free subscription to the Weekly Law Reports, courtesy of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting.

The moot problem was written by Max du Plessis and Steve Pate of the University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal and received considerable praise from the judges for both its originality and its topicality.

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